Can I Deduct That? – A Primer for Archivists

This guest blog article is written by Stuart Lutz, who provides clarification of the rules pertaining to tax deductible record donations. Lutz is a professional appraiser who operates his own company, Stuart Lutz Historic Documents Inc. More resources on appraisal are available through the SAA Acquisitions & Appraisal Section’s microsite Monetary Appraisal of Archival Materials web page and Bibliography listing.

Introduction

“My husband is a well-known poet and a retired university professor,” the woman told me on the phone.  “We want to donate all his papers to the college where he worked, so we need a donation appraisal from you.”

I asked the woman if her husband was still alive.  “Yes, he’s standing right here next to me if you want to speak to him.”  I then gave her the bad news; while her living husband’s papers can be donated, their fair market value cannot be deducted from the family’s taxes.

“But…but…” she stammered, “the university officials and the archivists gave their approval.  They said I needed to find an appraiser and then we can get a large deduction.”

I explained to her the two major reasons why her husband’s papers cannot be written off; neither self-created archives nor products of paid work can be tax deducted.  I cited to the shocked woman some of the IRS regulations and Tax Court decisions, and she said she was going to discuss the matter with her accountant.

In my years of performing donation appraisals, I have found that many archivists are ignorant of basic tax laws, particularly when it comes to donations.  Archivists may be signing IRS 8283s on behalf of their institutions for materials that are not allowed to be legally deducted.  This brief blog will explain to archivists three of the major categories of items that cannot be tax deducted, and I will cite the laws and Tax Court decisions behind them.

Before discussing the three categories, I will give the IRS’s definition of fair market value (FMV) for donation purposes (the IRS definition for estate taxes is slightly different):

Fair market value is the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. If you put a restriction on the use of property you donate, the FMV must reflect that restriction.[1]

The non-deduction scenarios

There are three types of materials that cannot be tax deducted, and here are the individual scenarios:

Self-created archives cannot be tax deducted.  The IRS has ruled that self-created materials cannot be deducted for anything more than the cost of the materials to create the donated item, such as the paper and ink if they are manuscripts, or the canvas and the paint if they are paintings.[2]  If a living author wants to donate his or her book manuscripts, all he or she can deduct is the cost of the paper and the ink (which will probably not amount to much).  This self-created archive rule applies to every citizen, all the way up to the president.  Although we may think that Richard Nixon’s famous “I’m not a crook” line related to Watergate, it was about his illegal tax deductions for his self-created Vice-Presidential archives that he donated to the National Archives.[3]  Nixon eventually paid $465,000 in back taxes to the IRS after the donation of his Vice-Presidential archive was disallowed.[4]

Products of paid work cannot be tax deducted.  The archival residue from a paid job cannot be tax deducted either.  In the mid-1980s, The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper donated to the California Historical Society its clippings library that contained about 7.8 million articles from the Chronicle and other newspapers. The newspaper took a $1.5 million tax deduction in 1983, $458,000 deduction in 1984 and a $891,000 deduction in 1985. The IRS disallowed the deductions since they are the product of paid work, and the Chronicle challenged the ruling.  The case went to the Tax Court, where the judges ruled in the IRS’s favor in the 1991 case Chronicle Publishing Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.[5]  The court stated that the business could not deduct a “letter, memorandum, or similar property…for whom such property was prepared or produced.”  The Court’s decision concluded that “Because [the San Francisco Chronicle] Company’s basis in the library is zero, Company’s charitable contribution for its donation to Organization [the California Historical Society] is reduced to zero.”[6]  In other words, the product of paid work – even if they are letters to someone at the company, like the CEO – cannot be deducted.  Likewise, the CEO of a company cannot deduct the papers he or she created while in that role.

Letters written to someone still living cannot be tax deducted.  If a prominent alum of your university owns a lengthy correspondence with a President and now wants to donate the letters to the school, those letters cannot be tax deducted either.  The reason for this is that such a donation needs a cost basis, and letters received through the mail have no cost basis – they are essentially a gift.  In Publication 526 (page 11, middle column), the IRS states about the donation of ordinary income property that they generally limit “the deduction to your basis in the property.”[7]  This rule does not apply just to letters received through the mail.  If Truman Capote gave me a book manuscript, I cannot deduct its value in a donation.  If Jasper Johns gave me a painting, I cannot deduct its value in a donation.  If Annie Leibovitz gave me original photographs…you get the idea.

What Can Be Tax Deducted

There are many items that can be donated and tax deducted, and here are some examples:

If a collector, in the course of his or her life, bought every Robert Louis Stevenson publication and wanted to donate the book collection to an institution, that could be tax deducted because there is a cost basis.  The donor can calculate how much he or she spent in creating the collection.

If a donor’s grandfather received a letter from Theodore Roosevelt and it came down through the family, the FMV of the letter could be tax deducted by the donor.  There is a tax loophole called the “stepped-up basis”.  Once materials go through the estate process, the inheritors get the original cost basis (if any) eliminated; they get to claim the full fair market value of an item on the day of inheritance.[8]

If a donor’s father bought a Thomas Jefferson letter and the donor inherited it, that could be tax deducted because of the stepped-up basis.

If Truman Capote gave me a book manuscript (or Jasper Johns bestowed upon me a painting), I could leave it to my heirs and they could deduct its FMV.

If the poet whom I mentioned in the opening paragraph left his papers to his children, that archive could be tax deducted since it will have gone through the estate tax and the stepped-up basis.

Last Notes…

Two last points for archivists.

First, a qualified appraisal is only required if the donated material has a fair market value exceeding $5,000.[9]

Second, archivists should be aware of the Art Advisory Panel.[10]  The board, which consists of up to twenty-five experts (some of whom are antiques dealers and curators) who serve without pay, reviews all appraisals with a single item with a claimed value of $50,000 or more. In other words, if the taxpayer donated 50, 500 or 5,000 items and just one has a value over $50,000, the Art Advisory Panel will give the appraisal extra scrutiny to make certain the valuation is correct.  Do not let the word “Art” in the panel’s name fool you; if someone donate an inverted Jenny stamp or a 1971 Plymouth HemiCuda, both of which have a FMV in excess of $50,000, the board will give the donation appraisal an in-depth review.  The Panel reviews both donation and estate tax appraisals.

If the IRS believes the monetary value assigned in the appraisal are significantly off (usually over-inflation for donations and under-inflation for estate taxes), the IRS can and will hire outside experts to challenge the original appraiser’s conclusions. In a recent case involving an estate, a Sotheby’s expert appraised artwork by the Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Younger at $500,000 in 2005. The IRS thought this valuation was too low, and it brought in their own expert, who presented evidence that the work was worth $2.1 million based on other recent sales. The tax court judge finally assigned the painting a fair market value of $1,995,000, meaning the estate had undervalued the painting and would likely owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional taxes, penalties and interests.[11]

Of course, one can sell self-created materials to a private buyer or an institution and avoid many of these tax deduction issues.

About the author

Stuart Lutz is a Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America (AAA), qualified in the field of Books and Manuscripts: Historic Documents.  He is USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) compliant and has taught appraisal classes at the AAA.  He has been in the historic document and manuscript field for over a quarter-century.  He is the author of The Last Leaf: Voices of History’s Last Known Survivors (Prometheus Books, 2010), which contains almost forty interviews with the final survivors or last eyewitnesses of historically important events. His contact information is available via his website at http://www.historydocs.com and a fuller version of this article can be found here.  The author notes that this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional tax advice.

[1] https://www.irs.gov/publications/p561/ar02.html

[2] http://www.appraisers.org/docs/default-source/discipline_pp/irs-requirements-for-appraisals-of-gifts-and-donations.pdf?sfvrsn=0

[3]http://www.taxhistory.org/thp/readings.nsf/cf7c9c870b600b9585256df80075b9dd/f8723e3606cd79ec85256ff6006f82c3?OpenDocument

[4] https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/Decoder/2011/0418/Tax-Day-2011-Why-do-presidents-release-tax-returns-Hint-I-am-not-a

[5] https://www.leagle.com/decision/199154297aetc4451512

[6] https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/0119005.pdf

[7] https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

[8] https://www.thebalance.com/how-the-stepped-up-basis-loophole-works-357485

[9] https://www.irs.gov/irb/2006-46_IRB

[10] https://www.irs.gov/individuals/art-appraisal-services

[11] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/23/arts/design/dont-blame-the-russians-tax-judge-tells-sothebys-expert.html

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Now Accepting Nominations for SAA Acquisitions & Appraisal Section Steering Committee

Update: Deadline for nominations has been extended to May 28!

Dear colleagues,

The Acquisitions and Appraisal Section has openings for three positions on the steering committee:

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
  • Steering Committee At-Large Member (2 positions available)

In order to be nominated for these positions, candidates must be a member of the Society of American Archivists and a member of the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section at the time of nomination.

The duties of these positions are as follows:

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (1 position):

  • The Vice Chair serves a one-year term (2018-2019), beginning at the conclusion of the SAA Annual Meeting. The Vice Chair assists with communication and outreach efforts, producing and overseeing communications. The Vice Chair takes minutes at Section meetings; acts as the chair in the absence of the Section Chair; organizes the program in conjunction with the steering committee for the annual Section meeting; and contributes occasionally to subcommittee work.
  • At the conclusion of the 2019 Annual Meeting, the Vice Chair assumes the role of Chair for the following year (2019-2020), and subsequently as Immediate Past Chair (2020-2021).
  • The Chair presides at meetings of the Section and the steering committee; coordinates Section-proposed sessions for the SAA Annual Meeting and section endorsements; and sets the Section’s agenda for the year with assistance from the Section leadership team. The Chair serves as Section representative with respect to SAA, SAA Council, and other groups within SAA; appoints Section subcommittees as needed; and coordinates the preparation of an annual report of Section activities and submits it to the SAA executive office.
  • The Immediate Past Chair is responsible for chairing the Nominating Committee for that year’s section election.
  • In each role, this person is expected to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and recurring section meetings (at least four per year).
  • The time commitment for this role is estimated at 5 hours per month.

Steering Committee Members (2 positions):

  • Members serve two-year terms (2018-2020), eligible for reelection to a second term.
  • Members co-chair at least one of the Section subcommittees, regularly attending meetings and reporting back to the Section.
  • Members serve on the Nominating Committee, assist in planning annual meeting sessions of interest to the Section, and participate in Section subcommittees (such as the Best Practices Subcommittee). They also participate in discussion of Section business.
  • Members are expected to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and recurring section meeting conference calls.
  • The time commitment for this role is estimated at a few hours a month.

Please send candidate suggestions to the Nominating Committee by May 20, 2018.  Final ballot information will be sent to SAA by June 1, 2018. Elections will be held online in July 2018. For questions and to submit nominations, please contact the Nominating Committee:

Consider nominating yourself or a colleague! Please include name, email address, and institution (if available) of the suggested candidate.

Thanks!

April 19 Twitter Chat: Collection Development and Acquisition Policies

Join us April 19 at 7pm EST for a twitter chat on collection development and acquisition policies! We’ll be asking the archives community to weigh in on the following questions:

  1. Do you think collection development or acquisition policies are necessary? 
  2. After reading through the survey at http://bit.ly/2rtGwr2, any initial thoughts or feedback?
  3. Do the survey results represent your institution accurately? 
  4. The data indicates many often have little influence on writing a policy, what would increase your ability to influence it more? 
  5. Do you think these kinds of policies should be easily available, such as on institutional websites?  Why or why not? 
  6. For those whose policies need revision before uploading, could the A&A section offer some assistance? In what form? 
  7. For those whose institution lack policies, what would help you get those written?
  8. Could the A&A section offer assistance to get that process jump-started? 
  9. What do you think are best practices in the creation of collection development policies?

We hope to hear from you @AppraisalSAA – remember to end your tweets with #AppraiseThis so we can include you in the conversation!

If you missed the conversation, a recap is now available at Chat_20180319_AcquisitionsPolicies

Impressions on Collection Development Policies and Practice

by Mat Darby

In 2017, the Best Practices Subcommittee of the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section conducted a survey of archivists on the topic of collection development and acquisition policies. During this process, we also received examples of these policies from archivists at a variety of institution types who were willing to share them. As we continue to consider and evaluate these policies and survey results, we felt it would be helpful to provide some of our initial impressions about what we found.

First, the need to establish and maintain collection development policies seems not to be viewed universally as an essential part of archival practice. Many archivists believe because they already know what they and, by extension, their institutions collect, that this institutional knowledge should be sufficient. Further, some archivists believe the creation of a concrete policy could place overly rigid boundaries on the scope of their collecting.

For institutions with collecting policies already in place, it is not always clear for whom the policy is written. Is the document detailed enough to be used by archivists to guide collection development? Is the policy clear and free enough of jargon to assist potential donors? Further, does the policy help to explain and justify collecting for administrators, resource allocators, and board members?

In some institutions, the collecting policy is an internal document and perhaps one that is not widely known about or shared among staff. Publicly sharing even an abridged version of a collection policy, one that may not be as dense or granular as an internal version, can provide useful information to prospective donors. All staff, even those without direct acquisition responsibilities, should be aware of the scope of collecting activities.

We also recognized a sense of powerlessness or lack of control on the part of some of the archivists responding. Beyond just the policies themselves, a need exists within the profession for guidelines that archivists can use to bolster their own arguments to directors and administrators as to why a policy is needed, why it should be periodically reviewed and updated, and why it should be available to the public.

Overall, these issues contribute to a lack of transparency on the part of many collecting entities. Clearer, more readily available policies could improve donor relations; promote collaboration, and cooperation among institutions with similar collecting strengths; and produce more informed and engaged staff.

Despite some of the issues that appeared in the survey results, the more robust policies we examined addressed all or some of these concerns in the following ways:

  • Clearly states the mission, guiding principles, and philosophy of the institution – why you collect what you collect
  • Transparency: policies share the criteria and processes that go into making acquisition decisions, including deaccessioning
  • Identifies the person/committee/etc. within an organization that makes acquisitions decisions
  • Indicates the point person(s) within the organization for potential donors to contact
  • Acknowledges legacy collecting while focusing on current collecting goals and priorities
  • Identifies strengths but emphasizes gaps where work is needed
  • States directly what the repository does not collect
  • Outlines the considerations and criteria at play when making acquisition decisions: content, accessibility, quality of documentation, physical condition, cost-benefit analysis, etc.
  • Includes a statement regarding collaboration and/or non-competitive relationship with other repositories
  • Shows commitment to assisting donors in finding the right home for their materials, even if that is another repository

As the work of the Best Practices Subcommittee progresses, we will provide further analysis of our survey results with a goal of assisting archivists in improving collection development policies and practice.

The 2017 survey results are compiled in a report located here. Please join us in a twitter chat on April 19, 2018 to further the discussion about these issues and concepts with fellow A&A section members.

Collecting Practices at the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives

Raegan Swanson is the Executive Director at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) located in Toronto, Ontario. Her professional background includes Library and Archives Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, and Archival Advisor for the Council of Archives New Brunswick. Raegan is also currently earning her PhD on the topic of community archives in Aboriginal and Inuit communities.

This interview was conducted in the spring of 2017 by current A&A Steering Committee member Kira Baker.

 

 

Can you tell us about the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) and how the archives began?

The CLGA was founded in Toronto in 1973 and was formed out of The Body Politic, which was a magazine publication that came out of the gay liberation movement in Canada. While the group collected photographs and did writing for the magazine they realised that they had the start of an archives. It was basically just a filing cabinet in the main office, and it started with material from that era. What happened however, was there was a police raid so they decided that, for the protection of the collection and so the police would not be able to take any more boxes, they would become a charity and in 1981 they formally became the Canadian Gay Archives (there have been a few name variations over the years). The collection grew from there, it started out being Toronto-centric but it quickly became more than just Toronto and people from across Canada started donating material. We’ve never been a traditional archive and we have a very large object collection that has always been considered an archival collection: we’ve got a t-shirt collection, a matchbook collection, button pin collections, various types of costume and clothing, lots of photographs, all kinds of AV material everything from reel-to-reel to born digital, art, as well as a reference library. Most of the material dates from the 1970s onward, there are exceptions though, we have one journal in particular that is probably our oldest item, dated from about 1911.

You came to the archives in 2016 as Executive Director, please share with us your professional background and describe your role here at CLGA

I was a history student at College université de Saint-Boniface in Manitoba and it was actually Terry Cook and Tom Nesmith who convinced me to be an archivist. One day they pulled a few of us out of class and talked with us about how we would could make good archivists. I graduated from the University of Toronto’s iSchool in 2011 and I was fortunate to get a position at Library and Archives Canada right out of school. It was mostly a co-op role but it allowed me to transition into a federal position and I became the digital archivist for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [on Canada’s former residential school system for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children and youth] where I was responsible for the statements given by survivors, former staff, and intergenerational survivors as well as the members of the general public that were made through the TRC. After that position I moved into Northern Quebec and lived in Oujé-Bougoumou, which is a Cree village of around 500 people and I lived up there for a couple of years, starting the archives from the ground up – building shelving, created policy and so on. After that I did a brief stint as the Archival Advisor for the provincial Council of Archives New Brunswick. So it has been a roundabout way to get back to the CLGA because I was a student volunteer here in 2010-2011!

What have you been doing here the last 6 months as Executive Director?

Acclimating. Figuring out where things stand. Rebecka Sheffield, our last Executive Director, was here for a short period and she was the first archivist to be hired. Before that, the Executive Director role was someone who managed the house, paid the bills, helped with fundraising. So there are a lot of policies and procedures that need to be updated, some of which hasn’t been touched since the 1990s, everything from updating the reading room rules to writing an HR policy because now we actually have more than one staff member. So far my work has mostly been administrative although I try to sneak in some archival activities too. A lot has changed over time for the CLGA, but there are volunteers who have been here throughout that time, so, for me, [the last six months] has been understanding what has been done, who usually does what, and finding my role among the volunteers because they have been the ones who have kept this place going over the past 40 plus years.

20170511_180341

Records held at the CLGA house

What are the collecting practices of the CLGA? How have they changed over those 40 years?

We have more space now which means that we are able to take more material. We only moved into this space (at 34 Isabella Street) in 2009. Previously, the archives had been in rented office space which doesn’t provide many options for storage and reading room configuration. Before, everything was one large space and researchers were looking at records right next to the stacks. So things have changed in a couple of ways: 1) more people know about us and we are getting more material, in part too because of the longevity of the CLGA, and 2) I would say the collection practices has expanded from the initial 1970s activism roots to showing and representing gay life as it exists in Canada. For example, material first collected included The Body Politic and the Right to Privacy Committee and other entities rallying around the cause [of gay rights], and we have tons of material related to the bathhouse raids because it was a pivotal moment in Toronto. Additionally, we now also have more material on marriage, and we recently acquired records from the LGBTQ Parenting Network which dealt with families and adoption. So how the transition in society has changed as has also changed the types of record materials coming in.

And so, records came to the archives through word of mouth?

Yes. Folks already a part of the magazine [The Body Politic] and other groups were also the volunteers at the archives and it was their records and the records of their friends who were the main donors. The community was initially very small, even though Toronto, having one of the largest queer communities in Canada so there were plenty of people in the general LGBT+ community – but it wasn’t necessarily that the CLGA was taking in all the records, we were getting what we could manage at the time. There has not been much effort to seek out and ask people for their records and that has kind of been a continued practice overall. Materials were donated when volunteers specifically asked someone to do so or they had heard of the CLGA by word of mouth…unless you knew somebody, or knew somebody who knew somebody, that was how records were acquired.

Space is another factor and has always been what we could afford. The CLGA often shared space with other groups and there were years when we couldn’t afford office space at all. Working with what you have limits what record collections come in, the volunteers to manage those records, and accommodating researchers. The CLGA has grown substantially since moving into this current space, which also saw the number of volunteers go up. We now have a full-time Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator which has meant double the number of volunteers. It is interesting to see how the body of volunteers has shaped the organization as well as the collections.

Describe the administrative structure of CLGA and how this corresponds to day to day decision making

There is an Operations Committee that is responsible for the archival side of running the CLGA: looking after acquisitions, appraisal, arrangement and descriptions, ordering supplies etc. This Committee used to be the CLGA’s main hub but there is currently also a Board of Directors and ten other Committees for fundraising, curatorial projects, communications and other jobs all made up of volunteers. To clarify, those on the Operations Committee carrying out archival tasks, it’s not to say that those volunteers do not have archival training – they just have never been paid CLGA archival staff. For instance, one volunteer is an archivist at the University of Toronto who has been contributing his expertise to the Operations Committee for the last 39 years.

20170511_181322

Raegan showing an album from the Rupert Raj collection

Tell us about the recent Diversity Survey put out by the CLGA and the reasons behind going to members for feedback

The Diversity Survey project started around 2015-2016, the impetus in part being from having more volunteers coming in to work with the archival collections but not seeing themselves represented here as part of the local community and, in turn, the CLGA realizing the limitations of what we haven’t been able to collect. One example of this is that, there were women involved in the creation of the CLGA, but most of our older volunteers are men. There was also some trans material collected, but whether or not it is representative of a larger trans community – well, we are actively working towards incorporating those record collections now. I think the CLGA will be examining the organization’s vision, mandate, and even our name over the next year while we are in the middle of strategic planning. From what our volunteers and the community has told us [through the Diversity Survey], we have not been as diverse in our collecting as we need to be.

The Diversity Survey showed us a lot about our organization. Survey results made clear that men thought we handled diversity better than women respondents – and I think that says a lot. What you know and what you care about will affect how and what you choose to collect. The CLGA was an organization primarily started by cis gay white men, thus impacting what material was collected. Not to say that CLGA wasn’t collecting other community information at all, but it definitely impacted how much material from those communities ended up at the CLGA. For example, you could be aware “X” event was happening but if you didn’t attend then you might not be able to pick up a poster from that event. So, you are limited by individual personal experiences and that is something we can see in the collection. There is a certain amount of privilege that comes with being a man, even a gay man, and having conversations about privilege are not easy, especially when it is with people who have been discriminated against. Trying to balance the progressive nature of a changing community without discounting the work done by past activists is difficult.

Right now, the CLGA team is on board with addressing that there are gaps in the collection and tackling how we are going to handle it. To me, unless people understand that we are going to respect their records and that we are a safe place to put them, then they are in the right to not be willing to place their records in our custody. We are actively trying to ensure we both collect diverse materials and promote their accessibility. I am currently processing a collection of Rupert Raj, a trans writer and activist. These records had been accessioned, but, you must show that it matters with arrange and describe. We will soon start highlighting this and other trans collections through our online platform. We are a very large group of LGBTQ2+ and allies who have come together to formulate and care for the archives, keep the organization running, and make the material available to the public.

 

20170511_182221

A large portrait painting from the CLGA collection

What collections would you like to see, or, what is on your wish list?

Oh, we do have a list! Organizations, people, clubs, as well as books for our reference library. Working with other organizations in the local community is important, especially since sometimes distinct groups or projects can have short lifespans. We want to make sure that we can gather those records before those groups might be swallowed up by larger organizations.

We also have records of artists, playwrights, and musicians showing the arts. I like the way that art tends to play so directly into activism and I would like more of that especially since it is such a great visual and way of representing challenges and plays into our curatorial initiatives as well. We’ve also started collecting material that has been inspired by our collection. Artists have come in to do research and then they have created artwork based on our records. There is art upstairs that is copies of our archival collection – it has been turned into wallpaper.

Now, is that a record or art?

We kept pieces [of the wallpaper] as records! But it’s on our walls too. Not at all meta, right?

It’s interesting to see how people are interacting and using the material because I think it will also influence what we collect. The types of researchers coming in aren’t all academic, there is a lot of artistic investigation. Last year, there was a play about the Body Politic and because we also rent some of our building space, Sky Gilbert, the playwright, was doing rehearsals on our third floor. Because we are a community space, the way people interact with the Archives, what kinds of relationships and what is generated here at CLGA will also influence the archival materials that come to stay.

 

Recap: Third Thursday and Collecting Women’s March Materials and Women’s Collections in Archives

Editor’s Note: Storify is no longer active, the chat may be accessed at Chat_201711_CollectingWomensMaterials.

A summary recap of November’s Third Thursday chat on Twitter is now up on the A&A’s Storify page.  Read through to check out what was brought up during our conversation on collecting materials from the Women’s March and women’s collections in archives.

Thanks to SAA’s Women Archivists and Women’s Collections Sections for teaming up!

November Twitter Chat: Collecting Women’s March Materials and Women’s Collections in Archives

We are pleased to announce we will be co-hosting a joint Twitter chat with the SAA Women’s Archivists and the Women’s Collections sections about collecting Women’s March materials and women’s collections in archives.

Follow #AppraiseThis or the Section handles @AppraisalSAA @WomenArchivists

Thursday, November 16th – 4:00 pm Pacific/ 5:00 Mountain/ 6:00 Central/ 7:00 Eastern

Questions we’ll be asking are:

  1. @WomenArchivists connected archivists participating in the Women’s Marches across the country and formed the Women’s March on Washington Archives Project. How has the development of appraisal policy for this collective Project differed from working within an institutional environment? What are some of the challenges & positives to working this way?
  2. Where have materials ended up and how were the collecting organizations involved in the process? Did they have certain acquisition requirements? For chat participants w/ workplace experiences collecting March materials, what were the considerations of staff?
  3. What was your approach to appraisal over materials from this large-scale, public protest event? Eg. kinds of records, objects, and ephemera?  A sampling? etc.
  4. How do you handle copyright/permissions when collecting material from a group event?
  5. What were legal or ethical concerns that came up during the appraisal process for these collections? Did they vary across institutions.
  6. Have efforts to collect Women’s March materials led to changes at your workplace re: acquisition and appraisal practices?
  7. Where is the Project at now, 10 months after the March? Or any last thoughts from others to share?

We hope you’ll tune in and tweet along to add to the conversation!

#AppraiseThis